When I’m searching online for a specific item to buy and am presented a sea of ads and description results, I quickly turn to image search to hone in on the find. Like many other shoppers, I know exactly what I’m looking for, I just want the ability to see items so it’s easier and faster to click and buy.
An article on mycustomer.com explains how Google has revolutionized the way we search. Consumers now demand image-based search functionalities when shopping online (not just text-based search). In a survey of 1,000 consumers WeSee found that three quarters of consumers (74%) said traditional text-based keyword queries are inefficient in helping them find the right items online. Another 40% would like their online shopping experience to be more visual, image-based and intuitive.
Potential customers are window shopping “by image” on search engines like Google. Retailers who search engine optimize their product images and listings can gain a competitive advantage with consumers who prefer to shop this way.
3 Steps to Optimize Images
In order to get your products viewed in image searches, your product listings must be optimized for search engines. Follow these steps to help customers find your products.
- Attach well-written meta-data tags to your products’ descriptions using accurate, keyword-specific descriptions. Remember to use your customers’ language in product descriptions—not industry jargon.
- Attach high quality images to every product listing.
- Integrate with search engine shopping sites like Google Shopping, Shopzilla or PriceGrabber to increase your products’ chances of being displayed (i.e. organic search image results + Google Shopping results)
Image SEO for Online Marketplaces
Marketplaces like eBay do a great job including listings in search engine image search results. For example, imagine you’re selling a woman’s tan thin lined jacket on eBay. Shoppers image searching in Google for any of the description keywords could see the listing photo in image search results. There’s also a link making it easy to click and buy.
However, marketplaces can only work with the data you give them. That means it’s critical that you provide rich data about your product listings and that data should reflect the terms that searchers (potential customers) use.
Manage Images Like a Pro
Unlike brick and mortar sales, online selling requires an intense focus on providing high quality product data and images that showcase what you sell. As a result, you may spend a lot of time and expense sourcing, organizing, enhancing and managing images for your products.
For growing companies who sell many products in many channels, this can be a beast to manage. Time spent finding files, creating listings and then organizing and distributing to all your sales channels can delay time to market and result in lost sales. Managing product data in spreadsheets is not a scalable solution.
In order to take control and reduce complexity managing this data, consider using a Product Information Management (PIM) system. PIM tools provide intelligent management and direction for product data, making it easier to merchandise and market to multiple sales channels.
Level the Playing Field
Google is the ultimate equalizer. Sellers that provide a visual way for shoppers to find and buy products can go head to head with the biggest retailers and win sales. For shoppers like me, it doesn’t matter whether you are a national retailer or a mom-and-pop shop. If you make it easy for me to see and buy the item I want, offer a fair price, and guarantee quality and fast delivery, you earn my business.
And according to the data, I’m not the only one!
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